Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The wrong spirit of Christmas

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid ; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people ; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”   Luke 2:8-11

Many years ago, I was working in retail sales as a commission sales person for a national electronics company.  One day, during the Christmas holiday, I was working the sales register when a young couple walked up just beaming from ear to ear!  With great excitement, the husband hefted the nicest, most expensive, remote control truck the company sold onto the counter.  Next to it, the wife began piling the rechargeable batteries and chargers needed for the toy.  The husband looked to his wife and said “He is going to LOVE this truck!” to which the wife replied: “I know! This is going to make his whole Christmas!”

With my laser wand, I began scanning the bar codes of each item.  As a commission paid salesperson, I was thrilled as the total continued to climb.  Once everything was scanned, I offered the extended warranty.  “The extended warranty covers this truck from top to bottom, front to back…for three years.  If your son breaks it, we fix or replace it at no charge to you.”  The couple took only a moment, and added the extra $39.95 for the warranty…and my heart leapt at the instant increase my check would take for the add-on sale.  Things were going well.

I struck the total key and announced the amount needed for payment.  It was almost $300.00. The husband, still beaming, anticipating Christmas morning, reached for his wallet.  But his wife gently placed her hand on his arm as he was about to give me the charge card.  “Honey, if you do this, we won’t be able to afford that thing you want for your truck.”  The man’s face fell.  He looked at me, at his wife, and at the pile of merchandise there on the counter.  Then he looked back at me again. “Uh. I’m afraid that we won’t be buying this.  Maybe we’ll come back for it later.”  And they walked away…with my joy.

I was very disheartened.  No, not because I lost the commission on the sale, but because I realized then and there how I had inadvertently surrendered the truth about Christmas.  I had gotten caught up in the money grabbing and present giving.  I felt empty and sad.  I really had to go home and spend some time praying; soul searching to rediscover the true Spirit of Christmas, and re-affirm the message of Christmas to myself.  The Lord saw to it that my check was big enough to pay for Christmas, but more than that, he brought the joy of Christmas back to my heart and mind again.  A Savior was born!  God was with us…in the form of a tiny little baby.  Amazing!  Now THAT’s a gift.

The task is upon each of us to keep Christmas in the correct perspective.  We will strive not to ridicule them who do not, but to be an example of the true meaning of Christmas, and the example of the Christ, whose birth we celebrate.  Merry Christmas!!

Scripture to Claim:
“When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child (Jesus).  And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” Luke 2:17-20
(Submitted by Kerry Patton)

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